The Indiana Hoosiers welcomed the Northern Illinois Huskies to Assembly Hall on Nov. 12 for both teams second contest of the new basketball season. NIU was 1-0 after an upset victory against the University of Washington while Indiana coming off their nail-biting victory against Eastern Michigan.
The Hoosiers moved to 2-0 after a complete performance on both sides of the basketball. Indiana defeated Northern Illinois 85-49 and remains undefeated under Mike Woodson.
When asked about IU’s performance coach Woodson said, “I thought we played 28 minutes the other night. We were up 20 with 12 on the clock and then we got comfortable. Tonight, I thought we were good the whole way through.”
Woodson and his staff began the game with the same starting five that started against Eastern Michigan on Nov. 9. Xavier Johnson, Parker Stewart, Miller Kopp, Race Thompson, and Trayce Jackson-Davis got things going for the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers dominated from the jump ball.
Things were close for the first five minutes. Then, IU then went on a 7-0 run to push the score to 14-7 with 12:18 remaining in the first half. NIU would only score 13 points the rest of the first half.
Indiana’s defense played at an elite level for the first 20 minutes, holding the Huskies to just 24% shooting (5-21) from the field. The Cream and Crimson were able to force 10 first half turnovers, scoring 14 total points off them. NIU had no field goals the last 4:15 of the first half and missed their last 10 shot attempts.
Preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis anchored the defense and was the ultimate rim protector. Jackson-Davis picked up a career high six blocks in the first half alone. IU finished the first half with seven total blocks as a team.
“He’s our leader,” said Trey Galloway. “He knows what he has to do and it showed tonight.”
Offensively, IU dominated the first half.
Led by Pittsburgh transfer Xavier Johnson and Jackson-Davis, the Hoosiers put up 47 first half points and shot 52% (15-29) from the field. Point guard Rob Phinisee helped run the show when Johnson went to the bench, which is something to watch as the season progresses. It’s not every year a three-year starter becomes a backup his senior season, but that only helps the Hoosier’s depth.
“He’s [Jackson-Davis] improved a lot man. He really has,” said Woodson. “When you coach young players, they think they play hard. But I’ve always thought there’s always another level they can get to.”
IU led 47-20 at halftime behind stellar defense and a heavy dose of TJD.
- Trayce Jackson-Davis: 17 points (5-7), six rebound, six blocks.
- Xavier Johnson: 13 points (4-5), three assists, two steals.
For the second straight game, IU came out of the locker room cold to start the second half. The difference this game? Their defense was still red hot after the break.
Indiana forced 21 turnovers, 11 of them coming in the second half and were able to score a total of 22 points off those turnovers.
Defense turned to offense quickly for the Cream and Crimson as the Hoosiers found themselves up by 40 points with 9:36 remaining in the ball game.
Overall, the Hoosiers shot 48% from the field and 35% from three. It should be noted that they also shot 77% from the free throw line, a number that is pleasant to see for most Hoosier fans. On the defensive side of the ball IU held the Huskies to just 30% from the field to help them move to 2-0 on the season.
- Jackson-Davis led IU with 19 points and recorded a career-high seven blocked shots
- Point guards Rob Phinisee and Xavier Johnson combined for 18 points and four assists
- Race Thompson picked up his first double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Up next for Indiana (2-0, 0-0 B1G) is another home game against St. Johns (1-0) on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 9:00 PM on FS1
Cover photo from Indiana University Athletics